The Enduring Power of Print Marketing

Print’s dead.  

We’ve all heard it at one point or another: the ominous, tolling funeral bell for what was once a profitable industry. Right?  


It is true that industry professionals today are focused on digital, despite the role 19th century print advertisements played in sparking consumerism. 

But here’s the good news: while print may not be as large a market todayless saturation gives you the perfect opportunity to stand out and stay top-of-mind.  

2015 study conducted by researchers at Temple University explored the differences in effect created by digital versus print advertising.  

Let’s break it down. 

The Facts

The study, originally conducted for the United States Postal Service, developed nine attributes by which to judge the effectiveness of both media types.  

Print advertisements performed better than or as well as digital ads in eight onine attributes; digital advertisements performed better than or as well as print ads in four of nine attributes.  

In this study, print advertising had the advantage in: 

  • Review Time (time spent with the ad) 
  • Memory Speed & Confidence 
  • Stimulation (emotional response) 
  • Desirability 
  • Valuation

While participants did not seem to indicate a difference in their willingness to pay for an item based on the ad type, neurological analysis revealed otherwise. Participants viewing the print ad showed more activity in the ventral striatum – the part of the brain responsible for valuation and desirability.  

Combine this with stats on why we still believe in print marketing 

  • 82% of consumers trust print ads (newspapers, magazines) more when making purchase decisions (1) 
  • The average household gets only 2 pieces of direct mail a day compared to 157 emails (2)
  • 80-90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to 20-30% of email (3) 
  • The combined category of catalog & direct mail saw customer response increase by 43% in 2016 (4) 
  • Customer magazines increase brand loyalty by 32% (5) 
  • 44% of consumers who receive a magazine take some form of positive action as a result of the magazine” (5) 


(1) MarketingSherpa Customer Satisfaction Research Study, 2013 (2,4) MarketingCharts.com, Response Rate, by Select Direct Marketing Media 2017 (3) SmallBiz.com, Direct Mail Marketing Statistics for Small Businesses, 2017 (5) APA Advantage Study sourced in LinkedIn’s Marketing Blog, 2019 


…and you’ve got a pretty strong case for print media.  

Marketing Takeaways

Data’s great, but what’s even better is a list of what to do with it.  

How can you use print media to reinforce your brand and drive sales 

Idea 1#: Utilize a Marketing Mix.

Combine the staying power of print with the prevalence of digital to create a powerful media combination 

Think about it: you receive a call to action in the mail, you notice it right away, and you jump online to find out more. With the resurgence of the once-dead QR code, you can even have them scan a code to jump to a custom landing page. 

Idea #2: Let others toot your horn

With 82% of consumers trusting print more than digital, use print as a platform, where your clients can share how your company helped them solve a problem. It’s a small world and there’s a good chance one of your readers is struggling with the same issues. 

Idea #3: Make your clients famous!

There’s something special about being featured in a print magazine. One of our clients features their clients in each issue of our branded publications (complete with professional photoshoot). Not only does it show the appreciation you have for you clients but it also lets you get even more out of Idea #2. 

Idea #4: Appeal to the coupon clippers

When done right, a “coupon” or incentive to purchase can be a powerful call to action. One of our clients offers $300 off their first invoice by mentioning the ad from the back of their branded HR Insights publication.  

Looking to strengthen your brand’s reputation and improve client trust? Contact Mamu Media today to get started.

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